After undergoing plastic surgery, it is important to rest and take proper care of yourself to ensure a quick and comfortable recovery. In fact, attempting to rush the healing process can negatively impact your scar healing process and increase pain levels.
While each procedure has it’s own post-operative instructions, here are some general guidelines that apply to most surgeries. Please keep in mind that this page is intended only to help prospective patients better understand what they can expect before committing to surgery. This information should not replace the post-operative instructions given to you during your consultation with Dr Anh, or any other plastic surgeon.
Smoking after surgery
You will need to quit smoking at least six to eight weeks prior to surgery, and should continue this for at least another six to eight weeks after your procedure. Smoking is one of the single biggest predictors of post-operative complications. Smokers are more prone to wound breakdowns, and generally heal slower than their non-smoking counterparts.
Garments after surgery
A compression garment will need to be worn after most body plastic surgery procedures. Other facial procedures may require the wear of a facial strap or nose splint. Wearing the provided support garments is essential for your recovery. Dr Anh will give you instructions regarding when such garments will need to be worn.
Surgical tapes are designed to help reinforce your incision(s) during recovery, leading to a better scar formation. They are typically worn for the first eight weeks after surgery.
Your surgical tapes will need to be changed once or twice weekly. Take them off before showering and gently wash the incision area with a gentle soap. Afterwards, pat the area dry with a clean towel and place fresh tape over your scar.
Surgical scars usually take around two to three months to heal properly and often don’t reach maturity until a year after surgery. If you desire treatment to your scars, this usually will not begin until all scars are fully healed. We also have a comprehensive range of products designed to promote scar healing. Dr Anh will help to decide on the best scar treatment for you.
Easing back into daily life
Recovering from surgery is a journey, one that doesn’t happen overnight. Over time, you will begin to feel better and may find that you automatically begin to increase your activity levels. Of course, this seems reasonable, however it is important to remember to take it slow and give yourself the time to heal properly.
When your daily life begins to pick back up, you will need to look out for the parts of your body or face where your surgery was performed. Be mindful that your body is still healing, especially as you return to work, taking care of any children, household responsibilities and other daily activities.
If you experience any mild discomfort or pain during your return to daily life, painkillers, such as Panadol, can help your inflamed tissues to relax. After having several weeks off your regular actives, it is only normal for your body to respond slower than usual when easing back into things. Knowing this, don’t be too hard on yourself!
Exercising after surgery
Many patients are keen to return to their exercise regime after undergoing surgery. Despite this, most patients will need to refrain from any exercise for at least four weeks, depending on the procedure.
While Dr Anh usually encourages her patients to partake in some leisurely walking and light duties almost immediately following their procedure, she will discuss in depth with you your preferred type of exercise during your consultation and give you an estimation as to when you can return to that activity. Keep in mind that you likely won’t be given the go ahead to resume unrestricted physical activity for at least 10 to 12 weeks.
When to call Dr Anh
Carefully following Dr Anh’s post-operative instructions will decrease your risk of complications. If you experience any of the following, please contact Dr Anh immediately:
- Body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius
- Excessive redness around your wounds
- Thick, viscous pus
- Cold sweats
- Visible stitches
- Dramatic increase in swelling since your most recent appointment
- Dramatic increase in pain despite little change to your routine
What is my next step?
Our wonderful team is standing by ready to answer any questions you may have. You can send in an enquiry form below or give us a call on 1300 8-DRANH between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.